Forum Index > Trip Reports > Osceola, Carru, Lago, Ptarmigan, Lost, Blackcap, 06/24-27/2020
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Alden Ryno
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 12:45 pm 
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Lost Summit Pano
Lost Summit Pano

Trip Stats: 56 miles, 22,000’ gain

Summits (in order of ascent, B=Bulger): Osceola Peak (B, 8587), Mount Carru (B, 8597), Mount Lago (B, 8745), Pt 8165, Dot Mountain (8220), Ptarmigan Peak (B, 8614), Pass Butte (8140), Lost Peak (B, 8464), Blackcap Mountain (B, 8397).

Passes: Slate Pass, Freds Pass (?), Dot Pass (made this up entirely), Butte Pass (out and back), Shellrock Pass, Freds Pass, Slate Pass.

While I’m normally long-winded with reports, this is an unfortunate time for y’all! Or perhaps a reprieve from incessant blabbing… Work, graduate school, a new house project, and planning what to do/where to explore this weekend is giving me a time crunch.

This past week I clamored all about the core of the Pasayten Wilderness: The Lago Group.

I had hoped to either add Monument to the tally OR Johnny and Rolo, neither happened.

Here’s my brief itinerary:

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020.

Leave the car about half way between Harts and Slate Passes at 1430. 24 hour time, deal with it :P.

North from Slate Pass
North from Slate Pass

Cross over Slate Pass, descend a beeline for the MF Pasayten River Trail. Merge with trail about 6,200’ where snow was hit or miss yet ample water filled and crossed the trail. Blowdowns weren’t bad!

At 3.25 miles from the car, I forded the MF Pasayten River (inconsequential and refreshing).

At 7 miles in I was bombarded by a hawk. Perhaps what will go down as my coolest scar on my bald scalp and coolest scar story.

War Wound
War Wound

At 9.7 miles and 1900, I began ascending the 33 Switches to Freds Lake (I counted them on the trot down, not up).

Freds Lake
Freds Lake
Descending to Doris Lake
Descending to Doris Lake

At 2000 I reached Freds Pass and cut left to descend to Doris Lake. Found a few bare spots and camped near an outflow of the lake. Camp at 2030.

Sunset at Camp 1
Sunset at Camp 1
Camp 1
Camp 1

Thursday, June 25th, 2020.

Wake at 0430, on the move at 0530.

Osceola summit at 0700.

Carru and Lago from Osceola
Carru and Lago from Osceola
S/W Summit pano from Osceola
S/W Summit pano from Osceola

Descend to meet trail at 0820.

Follow trail until about 6,000’ elevation and begin ascent up Carru at 0930.

Carru summit at 1130.

Short shorts on Carru
Short shorts on Carru

Descend to stowed gear at 7400’ and begin ascent of Lago (1245).

Lago summit at 1415.

Apparently a more appropriate Lago summit picture with Pikachu.
Apparently a more appropriate Lago summit picture with Pikachu.

EDIT: I have replaced the prior summit image because I was asked, personally and respectfully, to do so.

Begin…THE TRAVERSE to Dot and Ptarmigan.

Only snow on the ridge traverse
Only snow on the ridge traverse

Reached point 8165 at 1700.

Carru and Osceola from Pt 8165
Carru and Osceola from Pt 8165
Dot and Ptarmigan from Pt 8
Dot and Ptarmigan from Pt 8
Dot Lakes
Dot Lakes
Looking back at the traverse from near Dot
Looking back at the traverse from near Dot

Dot summit at 1800.

Stow gear below Dot and begin easy travel to Ptarmigan (1820).

Ptarmigan from Dot
Ptarmigan from Dot

Ptarmigan summit at 1900.
I could see the Pasayten airstrip from Ptarmigan and the traverse there. Very cool!

Back to gear and descending to Dot Lake at 2000. I followed the ridge east until I was forced to ascend a hill, so I cut down. Easy travel and very little snow.

Ptarmigan moments before I descend to Dot Lakes
Ptarmigan moments before I descend to Dot Lakes
Lower Dot Lake
Lower Dot Lake

Camp at Lower Dot Lake (2030).

Friday, June 26th, 2020.

From my bivy
From my bivy

Woke at 0530 and traversing to Butte Pass at 0630.

This is quite the traverse!

I arrived at Butte Pass at 0845 and stowed my big pack and set off for Lost Peak (and Pass Butte) at 0945.

Gear stowe at Butte Pass
Gear stowe at Butte Pass
Lago Massif
Lago Massif

Pass Butte summit at 1100.

From Pass Butte, almost there!
From Pass Butte, almost there!

Lost Peak summit at 1200.
This didn’t take as long as I was expecting, or had read? 2hrs 15min

Lost Peak summit views
Lost Peak summit views

A few hundred feet below the summit I met my first person of the trip, Greg! We chatted a bit and we both on our ways. I had noticed his boot prints in snow near Butte Pass and I wondered when I would find their owner.

I left Lost Peak at 1225 and was back at Butte Pass at 1440. On the move again at 1500.

I descended fire scorched walls of Butte Pass and crossed the headwaters of Monument Creek. Trail was nonexistent at first, but it got better and better as I went. Largely easy travel regardless.

I slowly made my way out of Shellrock Basin and almost went to the pass (corniced) before cutting south (left) and took the ridge all the way to the 7,800’ saddle below Blackcap (no screenshots of my map in this area, so I don’t have times).

Monument-Blackcap Ridge. About half along the ridge to the saddle
Monument-Blackcap Ridge. About half along the ridge to the saddle
Getting close to the saddle
Getting close to the saddle
The Three Musketeers; Osceola, Carru, and Lago
The Three Musketeers; Osceola, Carru, and Lago

I began my ascent of Blackcap from the 7,800’ saddle in a drizzle at 1745.

I reached the summit at 1757at 8,400’. This was some FUN scrambling on the ridge! Easy and quick.

The weather had arrived
The weather had arrived

I began my descent at 1810 and was back to my pack before 1830.

Descending down to the left center
Descending down to the left center

I then plunge-stepped down in my trailrunners and spikes to the upper Eureka Creek Basin.

Lil glully on SW side of basin I found thanks to Ryan and Damon's track
Lil glully on SW side of basin I found thanks to Ryan and Damon's track

It rained from 1800 until 2000 when I made camp.

Getting from the upper basin to the lower is tricky on the south side (skiers left) because there is no trail and I stayed left to stay off of more snow and to not have to cross the relatively wide swamp mass of Eureka Creek.

wet
wet

Holy wet, loose rock and blowdowns. This area looks like an apocalypse, dead stuff everywhere.


I eventually merged with some semblance of trail at the usual creek crossing (cairns) and followed an ever-improving trail down to the Eureka Creek trail confluence (there is no other trail evident, just shown on maps) and made camp at 5,800’. I marked this area on the way in as a semi-advanced camp if I got this far on Friday. Lo and behold, a tent was there! I figured in was Greg, however, the occupant never emerged until morning.

I was set up for camp by 2015 and the sky was clear by the time the sun went down!

Saturday, June 27th, 2020.

Looking into the head of Eureka Creek
Looking into the head of Eureka Creek

In the morning, Greg and I had some good conversation (he’s got 92 of the Bulgers!) and he told me about his ingenious plan to finish the list by saving quite a few easier ones to finish up; smart man! Lost may have been his biggest trip to finish up.

Robinson
Robinson

I was on the move at 0620 and realized at 0730 when I was at Freds Pass (12.5 miles to go!) that I hadn’t un-paused my GPS track… OOF.

Moody
Moody

I reached the MF Pasayten Trail at 0840 (9.7 miles to go!) and took another break at 1000 (6.5 miles to go!). The river ford at 1100 (3.25 miles to go!) and hit snow on the trail at 1200 (1.5 miles to go!). This is where I went off trail on snow and trudged up to Slate Pass. I actually prefer ending on a high-effort note rather than cruising (glutton for punishment).

I sat at Slate Pass for about 10 minutes, reflecting. One of the several books I had listened to was Colin O’Brady’s “The Impossible First” (not the first time through it). At the end of his incredible journey, he stopped about a quarter mile shy of his end point. He sat and reminiscent on the good, the bad, the ugly, and the sublime. I also took the time to do that.

Slate Pass Environs
Slate Pass Environs

 I departed from the pass at 1245 and hugged Sally (my Silver Sentra) at 1255.
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neek
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 1:01 pm 
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great looking trip!   i like the concise writing and non-overwhelming photo selection.  i woulda been with greg but had to stay home with the kid.  hawk attack, that's a new one.
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Alden Ryno
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 1:07 pm 
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I've wondered if anyone else was attack by the same one. I forgot to ask Greg at camp and also forgot to ask a party of two that passed between the attack site and the trail to Freds Lake.
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LichenIt
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 1:17 pm 
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I was also bombarded by a hawk in this area. It made three swoops that came in contact with my head. Really quite terrifying! I read another TR where someone had a similar encounter. Boy did I hustle through this section of trail on the way out!
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siaumell
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 1:20 pm 
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Thanks for the trip report. How did you get from the summit of Lago to Point 8165? Any beta on if it is doable to travel directly north from Lago, follow the ridge NE, and then cut NW to point 8165? Or did you travel from the Lago-Carru Col? Thanks.
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rubywrangler
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 1:34 pm 
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I was also dive-bombed in the same area at about this time 2 years ago! Must be a permanent resident. I swung my trekking poles around over my head like a maniac to keep it away.
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Jake Robinson
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 1:43 pm 
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siaumell wrote:
Thanks for the trip report. How did you get from the summit of Lago to Point 8165? Any beta on if it is doable to travel directly north from Lago, follow the ridge NE, and then cut NW to point 8165? Or did you travel from the Lago-Carru Col? Thanks.

Can't speak for Alden, but when I was there a few years ago we found that dropping off the N side of Lago was pretty easy. We traversed around the W side of point 8207 then got on the ridge just north of it. A cairned class 3 ledge traverse got us around the W side of point 8165 near its summit, then it was smooth sailing on the ridge to Dot and Ptarmigan. Shoot me a PM me if you want a track.
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 1:43 pm 
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That lil gully - I assume it's Eureka Creek Basin - is absolutely gorgeous!  Looks like a great trip all around, maybe lacking sun, but everything looks so dramatic!
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Alden Ryno
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 1:47 pm 
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Good (hmm?) to know that I'm not the only one!
I suspected that there is a next/hatchlings nearby, hence the aggression.
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Alden Ryno
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 1:51 pm 
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siaumell wrote:
Thanks for the trip report. How did you get from the summit of Lago to Point 8165? Any beta on if it is doable to travel directly north from Lago, follow the ridge NE, and then cut NW to point 8165? Or did you travel from the Lago-Carru Col? Thanks.

Here's an image of my track. I'm also more than happy to send a file.


This route seems to be the best for minimizing elevation change and it's really not bad for getting to Pt 8165. The worst, for me, was alternating rock and snow below the subsummit to the north of Lago.
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Alden Ryno
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 1:54 pm 
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rubywrangler wrote:
I swung my trekking poles around over my head like a maniac to keep it away.

Likewise  hihi.gif
I'm certain that I looked insane.
also began running (on the way back) after it slapped the back of my head.

Honestly, it didn't hurt much, birds are very light, however, it's shocking and unexpected to say the least. The most scary was when it came from in front of me to swoop down... I'd prefer to not see that thing flying at my face...
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Stefan
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 2:29 pm 
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another crack baby with this intense mileage.  Hawk story is great!

--------------
Art is an adventure.
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rbuzby
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 2:35 pm 
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Maybe you had a tick on your head and the hawk was just trying to help?

Did you have to park halfway to Slate pass because of snow? I read something on the FS site that said the road was open all the way.  Not that it matters much, its melting anyway.

Nice pics!

Any bugs?
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MooandLu
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 2:39 pm 
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Holy smokes! It's a stretch but have you considered getting a rabies shot? I know direct transmission from avians isn't possible but those claws have a lot of contact with rabies vectors like mice. It may be worth talking to your doctor about?
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PostWed Jul 01, 2020 3:26 pm 
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MooandLu wrote:
Holy smokes! It's a stretch but have you considered getting a rabies shot? I know direct transmission from avians isn't possible but those claws have a lot of contact with rabies vectors like mice. It may be worth talking to your doctor about?

Mice ARE NOT rabies vectors. Almost no small mammals ever get rabies, and in WA there  is no single known cases of any rabid wild mammals, except pets brought from other states and bats.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Osceola, Carru, Lago, Ptarmigan, Lost, Blackcap, 06/24-27/2020
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